Gautam Gambhir might have batted close to eleven hours in helping India draw the second Test but he certainly doesn’t think the New Zealand team -- even as a whole -- can emulate his feat in the next two days.
Gambhir, who said the bounce in the wicket was getting a bit “up and down” reckoned India needed no more than five sessions to bowl New Zealand out. “With the kind of bowling that we have, we can easily get New Zealand out in five sessions. If we can’t do that, then we don’t deserve to win this Test match,” said Gambhir rather emphatically.
“We’ve got quality in the attack, good pace battery and a world class spinner. Five sessions is a lot of time for them to handle -- we got them out in three sessions in the first innings. I don’t think New Zealand will be able to survive five sessions.”
Gambhir said this Indian team always looked to win Test matches (unless they find themselves in a Napier like situation) and that the plan was to make sure that New Zealand had no chance of winning this game and then launch an all out attack.
“We want to get them into a situation where they’re thinking only of surviving rather than chasing. Once they get into that mindset of just defending, it will be very difficult from then on,” said Gambhir.
“We are an aggressive side and have shown that in the past. We have won six or seven series in a row when it comes to One-dayers and Tests. We’ve dominated this series as well. If we can win this series 2-0 it’s going to be a big achievement, to win here after 41 years. We always look to win.”
Introspecting on his own individual fortunes, Gambhir put his success down to how he is being made to feel within the team. “I am much more comfortable and much more secure in the side which is very important for any cricketer. When you’re playing for your place in the side it’s always tough… you don’t play your natural game,” explained Gambhir.
“Once you start feeling secure and feel that you belong in this arena, you go out there and play your natural game and enjoy yourself which is very important because international cricket is all about pressure.”
Gambhir, who said that the last tour to Sri Lanka was a critical phase in his career, listed his Napier effort as a special one.
“The most important and satisfying century in my career was the one in Napier because we had to play for two-and-a-half days which is tough in any conditions,” said Gambhir.
“When things are going your way you should try and make it count as much as possible, because you never know when the bad form is round the corner.”